Black Cobra Woman (1976) / Super Bitch (1973)
Directed by Joe D’Amato / Massimo Dallamano
Cast: Laura Gemser, Ivan Rassimov, Stephanie Beachem, Jack Palance
Apprehensive Films / All Regions / Not Rated / Full Screen and Letterboxed / 193 minutes
Disc Extras: Trailers
Imagine for one moment if I had a special machine that could take a movie that’s got a cool gimmick and expose it for what it really is. Well people, I’m that machine. Seeing that this is a double feature, I’ll start with Black Cobra Woman. Picture a version of Pretty Woman directed by Joe D’Amato, but instead of starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, we get Jack Palance and Laura Gemser (Violence in a Woman’s Prison).
Laura Gemser plays a stripper who uses snakes in her act. She woos Judas (Palance) during one of her shows, and our playboy rich guy falls head over heels in love. Why does he fall in love? He’s a snake enthusiast, so how could he not be turned on? So after some phone calls and arrangements, she becomes his special lady friend. From here, our stripper cum high society member lives out lesbian fantasies among rich snobs in between dates with Palance.
The erotica isn’t anything special, much of the lady-on-lady action being like two stiff mannequins going at it. It’s rather a masturbatory affair (pun) even considering the fact Laura Gemser can’t keep her clothes on. We get a short running murder mystery that is done and over with in less than a half hour. This sub-plot is extremely predictable and worthless. So the erotic aspect isn’t great, and the murder mystery falls flat. Dud. End of story.
Super Bitch (aka Mafia Junction), now that’s a movie that throws many promises at you. Sex, gunplay, and drug cartels, oh yeah! The cover labels this movie as “Hardcore Crime-sploitation.” I grant that this movie is borrowing from other mafia type movies from the ’70s, thus the exploitation, but as far as labeling it “Hardcore,” that’s pure psych-out hype.
The title is also misleading, because the heroine in the movie isn’t the main focus of the film. A cop/undercover agent/double crosser is the main focus, so take away our super bitch, and you really get a film about a double agent turning drug cartels against each other, add some nudity (you do see some tits and ass), throw in a few very scattered scenes of gun play, heap on the talky scenes of dialogue and a plot that meanders like crazy, and you pretty much know what you’re getting into.
This one’s better than Black Cobra Woman, for sure. Super Bitch has its moments of fun, but the whole “turn the tables on each other” theme is done in such a masturbatory (there’s that word again), going through the motions, cookie-cutter kind of way, I couldn’t help but get bored.
My machine isn’t done yet. Apprehensive Films has served us two films that are no better than a VHS rip, especially Black Cobra Woman, with its murky picture quality. Super Bitch is a tad better, but nothing’s been done to restore or improve either of these films. I’m sure if you try to pirate a bootleg version of the film on the Internet, you’d be seeing the same thing. It’s cool we have access to these films, but by today’s standards, where we’re getting beautiful transfers of old and lost classics every week, this double feature release is a clear travesty.